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Rumen function in goats, an example of adaptive capacity

Abstract : The aim of this Research Reflection is to describe the basic rumen function of goats and its modification in response to environmental factors, as well as to discuss similarities and differences when compared to other ruminants. In so doing we shall reveal the adaptive capacity of goats to harsh environments. The basic rumen function in goats is similar to other species of ruminants, as stressed by the opportunity to apply the updates of feeding systems for ruminants to goats. The rumen epithelium acts as a protective barrier between the rumen and the host, but it can be damaged by toxic compounds or acidosis. The rumen also plays an important role in water balance, both for dehydration and rehydration. Recent studies show that the microbiota exhibits a high fractional stability due to functional redundancy and resilience, but this needs more investigation. The microbial community structure differs between goats and cows, which explains the difference in sensitivity to milk fat depression following intake of high lipid diets. Goats also differ from other ruminants by their enhanced ability to feed-sort, but as with cows they can suffer from acidosis. Nevertheless, goats can be considered to be very resistant to environmental factors such as water stress, salt stress or heat stress, and this is especially so in some endogenous breeds. They also are able to detoxify tannins, polyphenols and other secondary metabolites. Some new trials involving feeding behaviour, microbiota and omics or approaches by meta-analyses or modelling will improve our knowledge of rumen function in goats.
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Contributor : Agnès Girard <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 4, 2020 - 2:45:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:32 PM

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Sylvie Giger-Reverdin, Céline Domange, L. Broudiscou, Daniel Sauvant, Valérie Berthelot. Rumen function in goats, an example of adaptive capacity. Journal of Dairy Research, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020, 87 (1), pp.45-51. ⟨10.1017/s0022029920000060⟩. ⟨hal-03040684⟩



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